Occupied Territories

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 12th September 2014.

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Photo of Stephen Timms Stephen Timms Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made following the recent reports of further illegal settlement building by the government of Israel in the West Bank; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of David Lidington David Lidington The Minister for Europe

The Government has made it clear that it deplores the Israeli Government's expropriation of 988 acres of land around the settlement of Etzion near Bethlehem. It is an ill-judged decision at a time when the priority should be to build on the ceasefire in Gaza. We believe it will do serious damage to Israel's standing in the international community and we strongly urge the government of Israel to reverse this decision.

Our Ambassador to Tel Aviv had a meeting with the Israeli Cabinet Secretary on 7 September, when he discussed the issue of settlements and the recent expropriation of land near Bethlehem.

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